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Amen! ;-)

Clergy in Crime Fiction QuizWhether you have a set of religious beliefs or not, it’s hard to deny the impact of religion on our society – and on our crime fiction. And that’s got me in mind of…




…a quiz!  Oh, don’t look at me like that! It’s hardly my fault if you chose to visit this blog today, is it?  😉


Many crime novels and series feature members of the clergy and of religious orders. And as a dedicated crime fiction fan, you know all of your crime-fictional religious characters, don’t you? Or do you? Take this handy quiz and find out. Match each question with the correct answer, and see how many you get right.


Ready? Open the sacred text to begin… if you dare!😉


Sacred Text


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I Read New Books*

MCThere’s nothing quite like the feeling of being able to talk about a book with someone you think is going to really enjoy reading it. It’s a shared pleasure, and both people benefit. TBRs may not, but that’s another issue…

One person I very much wish were still with us to talk about books is the late Maxine Clarke, who was a true friend of crime fiction. I miss her very much and think of her often. And I know there are plenty of books that have come out recently that she would have liked.

As a way of remembering Maxine, and of sharing great crime novels, Bill Selnes at Mysteries and More From Saskatchewan had the terrific idea of a group of book bloggers sharing books they think Maxine would have liked. Ideally, everyone would take a turn throughout the year, and each review would be posted on Petrona Remembered, which is the site for terrific crime fiction. It’s set up and maintained by those of us who remember Maxine, and the real difference she made for the genre.

It’s my turn to share a find, so please, come visit me over at Petrona Remembered, where I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Wendy James’ The Lost Girls, a novel I think Maxine would have liked very much.

While you’re there, please have a look around the site. We’d love to have you contribute a review of a book you think Maxine would have enjoyed. Interested? Want to share your great find? You know you wanna!  Just email me at margotkinberg(at)gmail(dot)com, and I’ll be happy to include your review!

Here’s a little about Maxine, if you’d like to get a sense of what she was like.




*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from The Monkees’ Since You Ran Away.


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When Fictional Sleuths Text ;-)

When Sleuths TextWith email and texting, to say nothing of other social media, it’s easier than ever for people to communicate with one another. It all happens instantly, and it’s possible now to include documents, photographs, and much more.

I wonder what it would be like for fictional sleuths to use that sort of technology. Sometimes texts and other social media can give real insight into the way sleuths communicate. So, if you’ll ask your disbelief to go walk the dog, let’s take a look at what happens….


When Fictional Sleuths Text


I Nero Wolfe (Rex Stout)

Wolfe: Where are you? It is 11:00am.
Goodwin: @Lily’s. Taking her to lunch. C U later.
Wolfe: Flummery! I need you here now.
Goodwin: It’s all jake. Our meeting w/ new client isn’t until 2. C U then.
Wolfe:  Pfui!!


II Inspector Morse (Colin Dexter)

Morse:  Are you finished with that interview?
Lewis: Yeah, should be back in the office in a bit.
Morse: Not the office. Opening time is in twenty minutes. Meet me at the Crown and Feather.
Lewis: Right. Could you give me address?
Morse: It’s ‘could you give the address to me!’


III Phryne Fisher (Kerry Greenwood)

Inspector Jack Robinson: Stopped by your house, but you’re not here. Where are you?
Phryne: I’m at a tea this afternoon. Very big do.
Robinson: Not likely. You’re not nosing into that case again are you?
Phryne: Certainly not!  Smiles, puts her telephone back in her handbag and goes back to searching a suspect’s rooms.


IV Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)

Holmes: Watson, are you free to join me on a case?
Watson: Most certainly.
Holmes: Excellent. Once you’ve seen to that patient you’re expecting, we’ll get started.
Watson: How did you know I was about to see a patient?
Holmes:. It took you ten minutes to respond to my text. At this time of day, you were no doubt consulting your notes before your patient arrives. Colonel Smitherington, isn’t it?
Watson But how did you know that?
Holmes: Smitherington had an appointment with you last week, which you told me he cancelled. He would be likely to reschedule.


V Commissario Guido Brunetti (Donna Leon)

Paola Falier (Brunetti’s wife): You’ll be home soon, right?
Brunetti: Not sure – about to interview a witness and I don’t know how long it’ll take.
Paola: My Women in Writing meeting is tonight.
Brunetti: I’ll do the best I can.
Paola: I’m cooking risi e bisi
Brunetti: Home in 15 minutes.


VI Jane Marple (Agatha Christie)

Raymond West: How are you, Aunt Jane?
Miss Marple: Very well, thank you, dear.
West: Excellent. Thought I’d pop by and look in on you. That all right?
Miss Marple: Lovely. When?
West: This afternoon.
Miss Marple: Em, perhaps tomorrow? There’s a meeting of the Ladies’ Church Group today.
West: Tomorrow, then.
Miss Marple puts on her hat, picks up her handbag, and goes off to follow a murder suspect.


Got any you’d like to add?


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Breaking News!


This is the cover for Past Tense

past tense a joel williams mystery


Isn’t it fabulous? It’s the work of gifted Montréal artist and writer Lesley Fletcher, to whom I am deeply grateful. Folks, give yourselves a real treat and visit her website and consider her art. Stunning work awaits you!


Here’s the blurb for Past Tense:


A long-buried set of remains…a decades-old mystery

Past and present meet on the quiet campus of Tilton University when construction workers unearth a set of unidentified bones.

For former police detective-turned-professor Joel Williams, it’s a typical Final Exams week – until a set of bones is discovered on a construction site…

When the remains are linked to a missing person case from 1974, Williams and the Tilton, Pennsylvania police go back to the past. And they uncover some truths that have been kept hidden for a long time.

How much do people really need to know?

It’s 1974, and twenty-year-old Bryan Roades is swept up in the excitement of the decade. He’s a reporter for the Tilton University newspaper, The Real Story, and is determined to have a career as an investigative journalist, just like his idols, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He plans to start with an exposé article about life on the campus of Tilton University. But does everything need to be exposed? And what are the consequences for people whose lives could be turned upside down if their stories are printed?  As it turns out, Bryan’s ambition carries a very high price. And someone is determined not to let the truth out.


Interested? It’s available for Kindle pre-order right here! Paperback pre-order site coming soon.

Watch this space!


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Crime Fiction News Break


Links You’ll Want 

Harper Lee Prize for Best Legal Fiction

Dashiell Hammett Prize 

CWA Dagger Awards

Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel

Win a copy of a finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel!!

Bute Noir Crime Writing Festival

Deadly Ink Mystery Conference and Deadly Ink Academy

Writers Police Academy

Melbourne Writers Festival

Dean Street Press


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